Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Eric Poole and 'Where's My Wand?'

What to do with the dregs of a dysfunctional childhood? Write about it, of course.

But to cut through the continuous avalanche of memoir your story must be über unique. And what could be more unique than an eight-year-old boy prancing around the family's rathskeller (a "tarted up basement"), wearing an old bedspread and pretending to have the magical powers of Endora, Samatha's mother in the TV series, Bewitched? Not much.

Eric Poole's memoir, Where's My Wand?: One Boy's Magical Triumph over Alienation and Shag Carpeting, is a painful story told with scintillating wit and and a huge sense of humor. Booklist has this to say about it: "... The author’s humor is largely character-driven, focusing on his long-suffering father, his older sister, and his cleanliness-obsessed mother, who would be more than a match for Mr. Clean. Poole has his own obsession: Endora from Bewitched. Whenever things get tough, he dons a white chenille bedspread and becomes the Endora of St. Louis, imagining magical solutions to his many problems—bullies, his parents’ arguments, an enforced camping trip with mannish Aunt Jennie, his growing awareness of his homosexuality—with mixed success. Somewhere along the line, Endora is replaced by God, who doesn’t seem much more reliable, though Poole does become a demon trumpet player, which may—by the time he’s in high school—open the door to peer acceptance. Readers will be rooting for him." --Michael Car

Hear Eric Poole talk about and read from Where's My Wand? tomorrow evening at 6:30 ( or 7:30 ( Or listen anytime online.

Find out more about Eric Poole and his book at the Montana Public Radio Web site.


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